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Monday, January 18, 2010

Hazards of Home Ownership...

2010 got off to a bit of a rocky start for me, but things are looking up. Let me tell you about the hazards of home ownership!

I woke up on Monday, Jan. 4th to a very cold house. It was OBVIOUS my heat was not working... so I called my home warranty company and they came out to look at it and as luck would have it, my heat exchanger needed replacing. There had been a Carbon Monoxide leak in my house! Whaaaaaaaaat?! I could of died!! I mean-- I know I talk about dying a lot... but this was a real brush with death! Apparently, it was pretty bad. So, they shut it off and said they would try to fix it in the next week or so. Meanwhile, Nashville was experiencing record lows in temperatures--I'm talking single digits, people. Single digits. Anyway-- I sent out a mass email to my friends asking to borrow any and all space heaters they had lying around.

In about 10 minutes-- I'd collected 7 of them. I rounded them up and it actually wasn't unbearable in the house, so I thought all was well... UNTIL I woke up at 4am the following morning to what sounded like a waterfall in my house. For real--that's what it sounded like. I went into the bathrooms and water was overflowing from the bathtub and toilets. I mean--water EVERYWHERE. I used my beach towels to soak it all up and called my home warranty company AGAIN. They said they'd send someone out first thing in the morning, but I never heard from anyone. When I called back at 8am-- they had sent a plumber to Joshua Winters house in Nashville. What the hell?!... the incompetence of these home warranty people was really astounding.. but I can't go into all of the details because I will get really angry and have panic attack... So-- moving on...

They FINALLY sent someone out at like noon that day. He worked and worked and worked and worked for 5 and 1/2 hours. He didn't fix ANYTHING and left me with no plumbing but said he'd be back the following day. Unsuccessful AGAIN-- He advised me to call a different plumber. He also informed me that the warranty company would not be paying for the additional plumber because it didn't appear that this was a problem that could be "snaked out", therefore it would be on me. At this point I had been three days without indoor plumbing.. so I really didn't give a damn, but I DID want the thing fixed... SO...

Roto Rooter came out to take a look. There was definitely a problem. A BIG problem. The whole main waterline/sewage pipe needed to be replaced. Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. And they were going to have to cut through my driveway to get to it. That seems like sort of an irrelevant point to make-- I know.. but it's NOT because APPARENTLY that that ups the price by about 2k. I'm not even going to tell you how much something like this costs... it was A LOT more than I wanted to spend. Lets just put it that way. I documented the damage with my camera. I haven't really figured how to get the pictures exactly where I want them on this blogging site... but they are all posted above in no particular order.

I had about 1000 people offer to let me stay at their house, but I didn't feel comfortable leaving my home with a bunch of space heaters running here and the plumber had advised me to leave them on so that the rest of my pipes wouldn't freeze. I figured with the kind of luck I'd been having--- I'd better not risk it. I stuck it out over here in the cold, cold temps without even a bathroom to use! I showered at friends houses and did a lot of driving back and forth to the gas station/walgreens to use their restroom. I refused to do that in the middle of the night though. I had to get creative---God bless my daddy for taking me camping when I was little.... and God bless ROTO ROOTER!!!

They fixed the plumbing issue in ONE day. I was without heat for a total of 10 days. I got it back just in time for the 60 degree weekend weather. Nice, right? So it goes with home ownership I guess. At least that's what they tell me.

It took me until now to muster up the courage to blog about it. I'm not kidding. I needed some time for my SOUL to recover! My bank account is going to need a lot MORE time, but I guess it could've been worse... ... (although I'm not really sure how).

In closing, I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who loaned me a space heater, shower, restroom, or a sympathetic ear for me to vent to over the past two weeks. You know who you are--- I appreciate it more than you know.

Now--- onward with 2010~! It can only get better from here!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year; New Book, New York in the 70s

Happy Happy 2010 everyone. I've yet to write it without first having to scratch out the '09. How about yall?

Anyway-- I rang in the New Year in Gulfport, Mississippi with some old friends from college. It was fun. Dinner reservation, jazz band, -- much more grown up than what I usually do. You know why? Because I was with grownups. Technically speaking, I was with my friends Morgan and Matt who recently got married, and technically speaking, they are both a couple months younger than me... but here's how I know they qualify: Their kitchen. It's a nice, neat, granite countertops, oversized refrigerator, laundry room attache, TONS of cabinet space-- but I'm not even talking about that. I'm talking about the CONTENTS of this kitchen. Their fridge was so packed that we were constantly getting rid of some of it just to make room for MORE stuff. I'm talking milk, eggs, grapefruit juice, orange juice, casseroles, vegetables, meats, cheeses, jams, cinnamon rolls, biscuits, bacon, condiments of every kind, backup condiments of every kind... And I'm going to be honest-- there was some stuff in there I didn't even recognize. And if you think that's impressive (because I did... I really did) you should see this girl's pantry! It had everything, I tell you... EVERTHING. In fact, we were making a dip on Thursday night when I got into town and it called for vinegar--and she was like, "Hmmm-- I don't think I have vinegar"--- as she looked through the pantry, but then exclaimed-- "Wait--found some!" I mean Whaaaat? Where do you even BUY vinegar? Do you want to know what's in MY fridge right now? (I just went and did inventory to be sure)
A carton of eggs
some lettuce
half a tube of cookie dough
12 pack of Miller Light
Bottle of wine
Crystal Light--grape
and a box of baking soda.
There is also a half eaten jar of salsa -- but I have no idea how it even got there. I think Melissa may have left it.
My freezer contains a bunch of Lean Cuisines and a bottle of vodka. And that's it. I use my pantry for storage, and I'm not even kidding.

Anyway-- all of that to say that I've decided that my New Year's Resolution is going to be to go to the grocery store! I think I can handle that one.

And while we are on the subject of food-- I gotta mention how I think that the "New Year's Meal" is kind of really gross and weird. I think its also important to mention that the entire concept of the foods representing luck, money, and health etc... was a complete and total obscurity to me until I got to college. I wonder if my parents even know about it... because they sure never fed it to me! OR-- maybe I inherited THEIR distaste for black-eyed peas, mustard greens, and ham, and THAT'S why we never had it. At any rate-- ever since I left the Mississippi Delta, people try and force that meal down my throat on New Year's Day... and I eat it-- graciously, of course, because it's always nice when someone offers you a meal.

In other news, I am STRUGGLING to get through my book club book this month. It's called "Let the Great World Spin" by Colum McCann and I kind of hate it. It's a fiction novel but it is based around a real life event. APPARENTLY--- a man by the name of Philippe Petit strung a steel cable between the as yet unfinished World Trade Center towers in 1974 and then proceeded to perform a 45 minute high wire act for all of New York City to see right around 7:15 in the morning. WHAAAT?! I mean--- THAT. IS. AWESOME. I didn't even know that had happened! I wikipediaed it to be sure. I mean-- WHY can't anyone do anything cool like that anymore? And why didn't we learn that in American History class?! It was dubbed "The Artistic Crime of the Century" and took six years of planning. What a CrAzY ole Phillipe must've been! Still-- I bet he was really really cool.
The rest of the book centers around mediocre story lines at best. I find myself bored, bored, bored, bored, bored, bored. But I am determined to finish. It's like a competition, you see-- and I must win. Ha.

Bye for now. I feel like 2010 is going to be a blog-worthy sort of year! :) Here's hoping!